Thursday, August 27, 2015

Once Upon an Addiction by Susan R. Hughes



If you have Netflix, you also need self-control. I’ve got one and not the other. I’ve been binge-watching the first four seasons of Once Upon a Time. It’s taken me all summer to get through all eighty-nine episodes. Last week, I finally reached the last episode, just in time for the new season starting in late September.

All it took was one episode to get me hooked. Perhaps the show resonated with me because, with small kids, I’ve watched so many Disney movies based on fairytales. The show is not appropriate for young kids, but within its storylines are themes of family, courage, loss, sacrifice, forgiveness, the power of true love, and discovering that home is where the heart is (or in this case, a town in Maine populated by storybook characters transported into our world by an evil queen’s curse).

The central character is Emma, the daughter of Snow White and Prince Charming, who has grown up in our world in the foster care system and doesn’t believe in magic. The young son she gave up for adoption, who was raised by the evil queen, finds Emma and brings her to Storybrooke to save the town from the curse that is keeping them trapped there, unaware of their true identities.

The premise might sound preposterous, but it doesn’t take long to find yourself ensnared in the plot. Each episode flips between events in the past and present, with a theme linking the two parts, and characters who have depth beyond their animated counterparts. The heroes have strength and heart as well as human weaknesses, and the women aren’t helpless princesses waiting in towers to be rescued; Snow White knows how to wield a sword and vanquish a foe. Even the villains win our sympathy with backstories that explain how their hearts turned dark. The struggle between good and evil within the individual becomes the focus of many of the storylines.

I find it fascinating the way the writers weave diverse fairytales together into an intricate plot, including not only classic tales like Sleeping Beauty and Cinderella, but also Frankenstein, The Wizard of Oz, Alice in Wonderland and Peter Pan (who knew that Captain hook could be sexy?). Throughout the seasons, new details and revelations keep us guessing and craving more.

The show is its own curse, eating into my reading and sleeping time. I’ve spent too many evening sitting up late, glued to my TV set, telling myself I’d watch just ten minutes more and go to bed (fat chance). Now I need to wait a month for my next fix. At least I won’t be able to binge-watch anymore – I’ll have to watch season five once a week as the episodes are broadcast on ABC. Can’t wait!

Do you have a favourite show that’s become an addiction?

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Susan R. Hughes writes contemporary and historical romance novels. Want to keep up with news from Sweet Romance Reads authors? Sign up for the SRR newsletter today. Like chatting about Sweet Romance? Join the authors of Sweet Romance Reads in our cyber Café!

10 comments:

  1. I love binge watching shows and just finished watching Forever and have started on Elementary. :)
    Once Upon a Time is a good one and I completely agree with you that if you start once, you can't stop :)

    -Nikita @Njkinny's World of Books & Stuff

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    1. I haven't seen either of those, but I've heard good things about them.

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  2. I love binge watching. I just recently went on a binge with the Blacklist - which is totally not the type of show I usually watch.

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    1. Sounds like it might be highly addictive.

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  3. Now you've got me interested, but I will have to fight hubby for Netflix since he's been binge watching Sons of Anarchy, where someone gets shot in every episode.

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    1. Doesn't sound like something I'd enjoy, but you never know.

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  4. I love to binge watch. I watched the entire Downton Abbey series this way and Orange is the New Black. I'm adding this to my list. Thanks!

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    1. My friends keep telling me to watch Downton Abbey. I'm afraid I'll get hooked!

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  5. My daughters introduced me to binge watching a few winters ago with Nashville, and I must say I was instantly hooked. There's something about, "Can we watch just one more...?" that so instantly gratifying. I wonder if this is a female thing? Hubby is so not into it...lol. That's okay, I still binge watch with the girls whenever they're home. ;)

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  6. I love Once Upon a Time! I've watched it since the first episode and never, ever, miss one. I don't have Netflix so I can't binge watch, but I do access programs through the Internet. My other obsession is NASHVILLE. Other than that, mostly all I watch is PBS. I love British TV.

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